His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent Christmas greetings to the heads of the non-Orthodox Churches: Patriarch Tawadros II of the Coptic Church; Pope Francis; Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syrian Church; Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Gewargis III Sliwa of the Assyrian Church of the East; Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros, Cardinal al-Rahi; Malankara Metropolitan Basilios Mar Thoma Poulose II, Catholicos of the East; Patriarch Abune Mathias I of Ethiopia; and others. The text of the message is given below.
Please accept my cordial greetings with the Great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Today we are once again commemorating the fulfillment of the promise given by the Master of the Universe through the Old Testaments prophets: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee” (Zech 2:10). The Son of God Who, according to St Jerome of Stridon, “had beneath him the sun, the moon, the angels… on earth… is born perfect man, a whole man, to heal the whole world” (Homily on the Nativity of Christ).
In glorifying the Lord Jesus Who became incarnate for our sake, together with representatives of all Christian confessions, various non-governmental and governmental organizations and all people of good let us combine efforts in order to overcome political crises and tribulations in the world and to help those suffering from the armed conflicts, hunger, discrimination and injustice.
I wish you radiant joy in the Incarnate Saviour and God’s help in your ministry, and I wish peace and prosperity to your flock.
With love in Christ,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA